Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Man accused of Sian murder remanded

A van carrying Christopher Halliwell arrives at Bristol Crown Court, where he was remanded in custody
Sian O'Callaghan's body was discovered close to the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire

A taxi driver charged with the murder of Sian O'Callaghan has been remanded in custody.

Christopher Halliwell, 47, appeared at Bristol Crown Court accused of murdering 22-year-old PA Sian, from Swindon, after she went missing from the town's Suju nightclub on March 19.

Halliwell had arrived at the court building in a motorcade that included several police motorcycle outriders, but there was no repeat of the angry protests which took place when he appeared in front of magistrates in Swindon on Monday.

He will next appear at Bristol Crown Court on April 8 via videolink from Bristol's Horfield Prison, where he is being held on remand, after no application for bail was made.

Mr Justice Burnett said: "I'm quite satisfied that bail is inappropriate given the nature and circumstances of the alleged offences."

At the hearing in Court One Halliwell, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and sky blue tie and flanked by four security guards, spoke only to confirm his identity.

Sian's body was found close to the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire on Thursday last week. Following her disappearance after a night out with girlfriends, hundreds of people helped search Savernake Forest near Marlborough, where her mobile telephone had been traced to.

Her father Mick paid an emotional tribute to his "bubbly, friendly, caring and loving" daughter on Monday, after Halliwell had appeared before Swindon magistrates.

A 100-strong crowd hurled abuse and attacked the police van taking him to and from the court building. He was also abused from the public gallery as he was led away after the brief hearing.

Wiltshire Police are also continuing to examine the remains of a woman, thought to have been aged between 23 and 30, who is believed to have died between 2003 and 2005. As yet they have not been able to identify the bones found in a field near the village of Eastleach, in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.

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